With everything going on in the world and Coastal Bend of Texas these days, we thought we would share a little update on where we are at down here in Rockport and on the Coast. By the time I write this, it will most certainly be outdated already. Things are evolving that fast around here. But we will try to share where we are at right now, and what we know going forward, as little as that may be.
First and foremost, I am very happy to share that all of us over here at Fly Fish Rockport are in perfect health and doing well. And we most certainly hope that is the same for everyone in our fly fishing family as well. For those who are affected currently, our thoughts and prayers go out to you and yours. We wish everyone well and a speedy recovery.
Things down along the Coast, and everywhere in the world, are kind of in flux. Our little community is working through this, just like many others are. Every day is an adventure really. And with things changing so quickly, I will get right to the point and tell you the most important things you may want to know, when it comes to fishing. So…
In Aransas County (Rockport, Fulton, Lamar, etc.) we are under Shelter-in-Place orders. Just like many other parts of the country. Unfortunately, this order has not yet come from our Governor. Instead, everything is being handled by individual counties, cities and towns. This is not ideal, as the rules can vary widely. But in this county, all of our restaraunts, bars and other similar services are currently closed or limited to carry out only. This is pretty much the same across the country at this point. But our shelter in place just got a lot more serious here in the last 24 hours.
Aransas County has now issued closures to all vacation rentals, hotels and the like. In addition, all of the parks and similar public places are now closed. Most importantly, this means ALL OF OUR MARINAS AND BOAT RAMPS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED. Also, all bank fishing, pier fishing or jetty fishing is closed as well. Kayak launches are also closed. This just went into action as of March 31st. So that means all of our ramps in and around Rockport are now closed for at least two weeks.
As it stands today, San Patricio County and Nueces County are still allowing the use of their marinas. So everyone is certainly flooding to those areas to get their boats in the water. My expectations… as things progress and continue to get worse, they too will follow suit and begin closing their ramps as well. In Rockport this morning, there was a city police officer at each and every ramp before 7am to help “educate” potential ramp users.
So the next question I am getting a lot is… Are you still guiding? And the answer is yes. Due to the restrictions placed in Aransas County, all fishing guides are declared non-essential business operators. So we are not allowed to guide or use the boat ramps. However, San Patricio and Nueces Counties have not yet declared the same. So we are still able to guide and fish, as I did today, using those marinas very close to Rockport. So moving forward, this is our plan…
So long as we are able to safely, and legally, guide clients, we intend to be doing so. As these restrictions change or morph, we will adapt with them. At the time that we are no longer permitted to take customers on the water legally, we will most certainly sit back and wait for the opportunity to get back out there.
So that is where we are at as of today, right now, right this second. Hopefully this will hold for a while. But there really is no telling, as the only news we are all hearing each and every day, is negative news. So we are doing our best to roll with it.
Fly fishing is something we have the privilege of doing. It’s a sport. It’s a hobby. It’s a passion. And, for some of us, it is our job. But there are lots of jobs out there. I know how fortunate I am to be making a living on the water. And I know there are plenty of people that would trade places with me in a heartbeat. But at times like these, perspective comes into play a bit more. While I do love what I do, it just doesn’t seem so important right now. A feeling I had not so long ago, after Hurricane Harvey ripped through Rockport, Texas. It’s just fishing… right?
But it is also a release. It is an escape. From the city. From your job. From the rest of the world. And when better than right now to look for that type of escape? I for one, am so very thankful that I have been able to ride out the past few weeks down here in Rockport. While others are asked to stay home in their city, with no escape in sight, we are still able to get out on the water. Now of course I wish I was working and guiding each of these days. But what a treat to be able to get out of the house, away from the news and get a little mental health out on the water. Maybe the only thing keeping me sane at this point.
So having said all that, I do intend on continuing to get out on the water. And also intend to guide folks during these times as well. Of course there are many limiting factors involved in all of this. But if you can or want to get down here to the water, Fly Fish Rockport would love to have you. We are missing being on the water with our guests just as much as they are missing their opportunity to be on the water.
If you are interested in fly fishing in Rockport, Texas or the surrounding area, please feel free to contact me any time. We are offering a Coronavirus Special down here, to help out. We know many are suffering financially due to all this. We are too. So drop me a note if you are looking for some upcoming dates and we will make it happen for you. And of course if anyone has any other questions about anything going on down here on the Coast, please hit me up anytime. Happy to help where I can and try to point you in the right direction.
We want everyone to be safe out there. Be smart. Obey the rules in place. And if you can’t fish with us now, then let’s all live to fish another day.
Capt. Jeff Johnson
Owner Fly Fish Rockport
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